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Full text of "Mathematical And Physical Papers - Iii"

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of the light at a very different rate on the two sides of the intense dark band No. 1. This might be inferred from the order in which the bright bands disappear; but it was rendered visible to the eye by the following easy experiment. A narrow test tube was partly filled with a solution of leaf-green, and then a few drops of alcohol were added, which remained at the top, and there diluted the solution. The tube was then held before a candle, and the linear image of the flame was viewed through a prism. In the under part the dark band No. 1 was broad, the bright band No. 2 being narrow, and almost obliterated, but in the upper part the dark band No. 1 was very narrow. Now on tracing upwards the sides of this dark band, it was found that the less refrangible side was almost straight, and the diminution in the breadth of the band was produced by the encroachment of the bright band No. 2. Speaking approximately, we may say that in proceeding from the extreme red onwards, at a certain point of the spectrum the fluid passes abruptly from transparent to opaque; and then gradually becomes almost transparent again.
52.    It may here be remarked, that although the absorption produced by leaf-green is best studied in a solution, its leading characters may be observed very well by merely placing a green leaf behind a slit, as near as possible to the flame of a candle, and then viewing the slit through a prism.
53.    After this digression relating to the absorption of leaf-green, it is time to come to its internal dispersion.    And first, when a cone of white light coming from  the sun is admitted horizontally into the fluid, as close as possible to its upper surface, and the beautiful red beam of dispersed light is analysed by a prism, the spectrum is found to consist of a bright red band of a certain breadth, followed by a dark interval, and then a much broader green band not near so brilliant.    There is usually but little false dispersion, and what there is may be almost entirely got rid of by analysing the beam by a Nicol's prism, so as to view it by light polarized in a plane perpendicular to the plane of dispersion.  Now on raising the vessel without removing the prism from the eye, it was found that a dark band, which was in fact the absorption band No. 1, appeared almost exactly in the middle of the bright red band.    On continuing to raise the vessel, so as to